Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022


Cost of Living Concession

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:00): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the Minister for Regional Development on the topic of renting in the regions and the Cost of Living Concession.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: This morning, Premier Malinauskas and Minister Cook held a press conference announcing the state government's commitment to bring forward the Cost of Living Concession payments to August this year. Previously, some recipients were due to receive their payment in March 2023. In August, home owner-occupiers who are eligible to receive the Cost of Living Concession will receive $449 to assist with their cost-of-living expenses while eligible renters will receive just half of that, $224.60.

We know that more South Australians than ever before are experiencing rental stress. This is particularly acute in regional areas, where prices have surged by almost 70 per cent over the last two years. My question to the minister is: is the minister concerned that renters in regional areas are being short-changed by the Cost of Living Concession, and will she be advocating for renters to receive the same payment as home owners as part of the government's review of these concessions?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:01): I thank the honourable member for his question. I was also delighted to be able to hear the announcement today that effectively the Cost of Living Concession will be doubled as we go forward in this period of time. I think there is an important need to be constantly looking at the concessions that we have in our state. They are a very important part of supporting those who need that assistance at various times throughout their lives. I will be happy to refer the substance of his question to the Minister for Human Services in the other place.